tv Book Party for Shall We Wake the President CSPAN October 29, 2016 1:15pm-2:01pm EDT
>> every weekend booktv brings you 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors. and here are some of our programs for this coming weekend. today at 2 p.m. eastern, it's the eighth annual boston book festival. the free festival promotes a culture of reading and ideas and features a number of authors and oh literary presenters -- other literary presenters from around the world. this year's panel includes a discussion on the how future of literacy. sarah gridden, author of "rolling blackouts," as they take a look at the impact of cartoons in nonfiction books. and author james glick with his book, "time travel: a history." then at 9 p.m. history, james rosen and christopher buckley discuss their book, "a torch kept lit: great lives of the 20th century," which examines
essays on famous figures written by christopher buckley's father. the event is moderated by the executive director of national review. sunday night at nine eastern on "after words," tim wu looks at the history of advertising and branding and howed today's marketers are vying for our attention in his book, "the attention merchants." he's interviewed by john fort, co-anchor of cnbc's squawk alley. >> the real birth of advertising is in the 1920s with the birth of the big ad agencies, the growth of madison avenue, also london, paris, other places as the center of an industry which is dedicated to the systematic development of advertisements over and over that will keep you buying stuff. >> go to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. >> recently booktv attended a party in northwest washington,
d.c. for the publication of american health policy institute president tevi troy's book "shall we wake the president" on how american presidents have dealt with disasters. mr. troy mingled with guests, and he ghei brief remarks -- gave brief remarks about his book. >> hi, nice to meet you. [inaudible conversations] thanks for coming. [inaudible conversations] >> thank you. i did a lot of disaster work in the white house, and i wanted to kind of capture -- [inaudible] i said, well, let's look at the history of past presidents -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations]
>> cnn was calling me today to talk about hurricane matthew, and last month there was the flooding in louisiana, zika, i mean, you're never going to get bored if you write about disasters. >> it's crazy. you did a -- [inaudible] i can't believe how many of -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> there's a great deepwater horizon movie moment when david axlerod gets a call from donald trump saying i can fix this thing, you guys let me do it, they're doing a terrible job. and then after he's kind of rebuffed, axlerod then says why don't you let me -- or trump says to him, why don't you let me come fix the way you throw
white house dinner parties? [inaudible conversations] >> you need somebody that knows how to handle these -- [inaudible] >> it's like the character in diehard, you ever seen the movie die hard, the guy who i thinks he can negotiate with the terrorists, i know business. [laughter] these guys use a gun, i use a fountain pen. i'm really into die hard because it's 1995. die hard three comes out, and it mentions both hillary clinton and donald trump. [inaudible conversations] >> i know, i mean -- [inaudible] i resaw it this year -- [inaudible] there's one point where mcclain gets cut off by someone, and he says who do you
think you are, hillary clinton? it's kind of a shocking line. shockingly sexist, a, but also there's the assumption that hillary clinton, who hasn't driven a car in 30 years, would be driving on -- [inaudible] and also goes to governmental credibility. at one point the cops are saying everything's safe, don't worry about it, when there's a bomb in a school, and one of the hard-bitten new york reporters says, yeah, and i'm going to marry donald trump. [inaudible conversations] >> one more die hard connection to the presidential campaign, when trump is in the first debate and he's talking about his view of cyber terrorism, and he says some fat guy sitting in a a basement, he was talking
about kevin smith in die hard four. kevin smith -- >> someone needs to -- [inaudible] be. >> i might -- [inaudible conversations] >> it came out two weeks after trump's announcement. it felt great and then -- [inaudible] >> my book actually doesn't mention hillary clinton or trump at all. that's kind of intentional. [inaudible] it doesn't matter who wins a particular election, every president's going to have to deal with it. half the book is about -- [inaudible]
but i really lovedded the talk about sushi in your book, nobody hates sushi -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> i don't get it, none of the people at my table are eating sushi, but -- [inaudible] >> there's a hilarious commercial, i don't know if you've seen it, i think it's maybe verizon or somebody. anyway, it shows -- [inaudible] slightly older couple, and their grandchildren, who are young teenagers, are coming to visit. and the grandparents -- [inaudible] with the american flag and the whole thing, and the kids come running in, grandma, grandpa, and they hand them their devices and say none of these work. [laughter]
>> [inaudible] you can't go to a jewish wedding -- [inaudible] and so the joke is if some martian came down to earth -- [inaudible] >> right. [inaudible conversations] >> thank you for coming. thank you for coming, thank you for doing -- [inaudible] how's bob doing? everybody good? >> he's good, yeah. >> your family? >> couldn't make it, unfortunately. [inaudible conversations] >> everybody's doing well? >> everybody's doing great. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> well, one of my oldest friends -- in washington for a long time, so smart --
[inaudible] >> on ricochet. [inaudible conversations] >> let's do it. >> all right, let's do it. >> they introduced the ricochet broadcast super-fan, tevi troy. [laughter] >> [inaudible] >> i've got the c-span podcast. >> you were the one who told me it was more efficient if you listened in double time -- >> i do listen in double time. it depends -- when bill kristol talks, because he talks really fast -- [inaudible] the average american talks about 150 words a minute. a a fast talker talks about 200 words a minute. walter cronkite trained himself to talk 125 words a minute, so
if you double timed that -- [inaudible] >> [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> and matt helped me come up with the title and gets credit in the book for it. [inaudible conversations] >> do you want a selfie, or do you want someone to take it? it was a graphic novel. and my 9-year-old came to the event, and he wasn't so interested -- [inaudible] no offense, but he read the entire graphic novel. >> oh, that's incredible. >> so i took a picture of him
[inaudible conversations] [laughter] >> i saw some great folks out here. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. >> it's so good. >> oh, thank you. >> okay. how does the disaster of this election line up compared to other disasters? what do you think? >> that's -- [inaudible] nice to see you. good to see you, love your stuff. look, a disaster in terms of the presidential disaster is -- [inaudible] has even greater implications than the kinds of disaster i talk about in the book. but it's not the kind of thing you measure -- >> i know. these aren't -- what we're in now -- >> right. >> -- [inaudible] one would say that we're in a pr disaster right now. >> there's certainly that.
but also some people are better at handling disasters than others. i think of to -- [inaudible] which candidate would be better dealing -- [inaudible] >> what's your favorite disaster in the book? >> i mean, it's hard to say favorite disaster, because like the bigger the disaster, the more, i mean, the more devastating the impact. so i loved writing about the 1918 flu because it was a terrible tragedy. 675,000 americans died. but i was heartened by how much progress we've made in our understanding of the disease, in the way we have countermeasures for it, in the way we would deal with it so much better today and we have dealt with it so much better today than we did back then. [inaudible conversations] >> nobody talks about. world war ii, 400,000 americans died. [inaudible conversations] >> i think my grandmother came
to america, she -- [inaudible] didn't speak a word of -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> you've got some very famous relatives. ancestors. >> she was 16. she didn't speak a word of english. her parents sent her here, and she -- only person she knew was her brother, died -- [inaudible] >> oh, my god. >> 16-year-old, doesn't speak a word of english, and you just got off the boat -- >> well -- [inaudible] >> her brother was here. she was coming to have a better life with the brother. she lived, but -- [inaudible] >> that flu epidemic reduced the average life expectancy in america by a decade. >> my god. how long did -- [inaudible] >> life expectancy, i think it was around 38, 40. now it's around 80. >> the whole, like -- [inaudible]
>> if you want to see a full population study, i guess a visual, the -- [inaudible] i can't really explain it, but around the world they show over time -- [inaudible] graphs in different cities that show how the population can change over time. >> the wonder exhibit? >> no, no, no. that's closed. >> okay. i love -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] sculptures on the upper floors, and it's a cloth covered with a white -- [inaudible] it's not a sheet and it's not a cloth, it's just a -- [inaudible] it's done so well that it looks like the thing is floating.
we used to be in the same-party circuit in the 90's and before she became the super party hostess that she's now and i'm pleased to part of her party and be celebrated for a book that i wrote, i remember in 1990's we knew again each other mainly from the party circuit and i heard that senator had positions available and so i sent her my resume by fasm, -- fax, we didn't have e-mail yet. wholly crap, you have a ph.d. i started working there and ended up in the bush administration and it was actually that combination of having a ph.d but also working in politics that led to me to write this book and the book about president and disasters. while i was in the bush
administration i was there during 9/11 at the department of labor, i was at the white house during katrina, 2005, i worked on the flu plan that the administration worked on for 2000 and ended up beployed in 2009 and had experience how government deals with or prepares for disasters and previous books about presidency and also my book about pop culture and the presidency. i did that and so i came up with this concept for the book and decide today look back in time and see what presidents have done over time to deal disasters and i found something very interesting that it was not always the case that it was expected that the presidents should have to deal with
disasters. it wasn't seen as their constitutional role or responsibility and moreover because of nonmodern communication or the lack of modern communication, the presidents might not know about disasters in the immediate power afterwards, there's an earthquake in missouri and president madison is in the white house and doesn't know about it for six weeks. [laughter] >> i think about it and a couple of years ago i was in washington state and there was an earthquake in washington, d.c. over here. some of you probably remember the earthquake. i happened to be on twitter. i won't say all of the time, maybe i am, i knew within 30 seconds that an earthquake had happened in my hometown of washington, d.c. and it struck me how difference communication is today. madison knew nothing about earthquake because he can't do anything about it. once you have development communication that moves around a little bit faster such as
telegraph, you still don't have the sense that president needs to know about everything. the flood in 1889, 2,000 people died in the flood, terrible, terrible flood and it was the largest lost of life in u.s. until 9/11, but president harrison guessed a telegraphic message and they say this terrible disaster has happened, please help us and president harrison response with a telegraph message back to them and the message says, i paraphrase and you can get the exact text on the book which is for sale up front, the message said in effect i'm sorry about your strategy this is not a presidential responsibility it's up to the governor to deal with. imagine today if a president had said something.
lawsuits, protests. it would be outrageous. it's a very different time. president harrison does say something in response to this disaster, he sends 300-dollar personal donation. it's about $7,500 in today's dollars, so a significant donation but he's still not giving billions of federal dollars, he's giving out his own personal and give to just starting red cross. so that is harrison's approach. some of you might say, oh, well, he was a republican. the democrats would have been different. but, no, rover cleveland who was president to both preceded and sub seeded -- subseced and cleveland vetoes the funding.
but he writes this veto message and in the veto message he says that it is not the constitutional role and federal government to be dealing with these kinds of local disasters. again, a very different mind set. now, over the course of 20th century these things change and they changed for two reasons, one i suggested which is the rise of communications in modern communication and the growth of government. the 1918 flu, tragedy, 675,000 americans died. woodrow wilson is in the white house and response to terrible strategy wilson does nothing. really nothing. when more americans died and died in world war ii when there were 116,000 americans died in the military in -- during this flu and 600 many are dying as a result of the flu and wilson's reaction is strangely silent.
the one thing he almost does is he considers at the behest of the doctor stopping transport that is are taking american servicemen to europe and spreading the disease amongst themselves but also spreading it across europe, it was called the spanish flu but it started almost certainly in america. the transports are spreading the disease and he's asked to stop them and he meets with the head of the army at the time and the head of the army says that's absolutely not possible. it's essential to operations in europe. this is one month before hostilities ended and wilson does go along this and confining more americans to death and more europeans as well. here we have a sense that presidential noninvolvement is actually a problem. a terrible thing is happening and they aren't doing anything about it. in 1927 is really the watermark, the time when you start to see
this change, the mississippi flood. 250 flood and president coolidge is in the white house. he does have a conception of limited government and the big federal government shouldn't be too involved in these things and don't worry about the constitutional precedented of getting involved and will rogers the comedian tells this joke that coolidge is low response to this disaster is in the hopes that most of the people will die in the meantime, not as quite as sharp but not dissimilar from a joke that jay leno made about the katrina disaster when he said that bush is finally sending troops to the gulf because he found out that there's oil in louisiana.
there's outside pressure and also there's pressure in the form of the secretary of commerce hoover who was nicknamed and he would like to get in everybody's business so much so that coolidge found hoover kind of annoying. in fact, this man is giving me nothing for unsolicited advice, all of it back. you have pressure on the white house plus annoying cabinet secretary jumping at the bits and he sends them down to the mississippi area and by all accounts hoover does a great job and he helps direct resources and brings in rescuers and gets people rescued. he helps develop supply lines and gets supplies to people and hoover was actually well practiced in this, he helps get food for starving people in europe in the aftermath of world war i and he had a nick neighboring, master of
emergencies, a guy who really knew how to deal with disaster and he takes the reputation and the sense of being national hero to the white house himself as he's elected in 1928 to replace coolidge and he became the president but we all know how the story ends because he doesn't keep the great reputation. in fact, he's known kind of as the great depression to happen and not to do anything about it. that is in part because franklin roosevelt who succeeds him does a brilliant job that making sure all this is tagged on hoover's head. when he becomes president, he doesn't discuss matters with hoover, hoover reaches out to him and says can we talk about various policy that we can work together in the transition. back then it was november till march and in the transition roosevelt will have nothing to do with hoover. when he comes to office roosevelt is active in terms of building the response to the depression, the new deal, he's
also very good in communicating and he has his famous fire side chat. he thinks about very carefully. he went on the radio two or three times a year. he carefully marshaled the resource and careful about how he gave the talks and would croz any 5 or 10-dollar words but speech writers tried to put marks and even used a special paper so when he switched page, it wouldn't make noise and people would think he was speaking off the cuff instead of text that he was using. the response the two crisis, one is the great depression and also world war ii and we have a federal government that's much bigger and much more involved in many other things and in view of
what the president should be doing changes and in 1950's we have the beginning of what are known as presidential disaster declarations. internationallingly the number of presidential decollations has steadily increased over time making within wonder if there's a political element or we have gotten much more dangerous over the last 60 years. you see the spike of the -- of the presidential elections. in 1969 in hurricane camiel, richard nixon, republican in the white house, he doesn't secretary down but he sends the vice president down to go down and report and he comes back and he says that one of the problems with hurricane camile is people couldn't gauge how big a problem the hurricane was.
do you shelter in place, do you evacuate, what do you do about the situation? nixon directs to look into this. i will mention two other disasters quickly. >> how do you think based on studies and what you looked at what would be the best response in the event that the storms that we are now devastating, category 4 that's coming in? >> absolutely. right. actually let me just answer by mentioning the two we talked about, 1992 hurricane andrew, george h.w. bush is in the white house and has a slow response and now seen as the presidential responsibility and if the president doesn't get involved, that's seen as a problem. presidential noninvolvement is really not an option anymore but his son president george w. bush
becomes president after the 2000 election and his first term he gets great credit from the media for dealing with disasters and even some cynical reporters who write that he's only good at dealing with the weather-born disasters because of the lessons from his father and that's why he's so focused. obviously we saw after reelection in 2005 katrina and no longer has that reputation of being good at dealing disasters. one thing that he did that didn't work out so well, was the flyover. he was flying back to washington and looked down and that picture, that infamous picture taken of him was really a disastrous picture from a pr perspective. >> why was it so bad? he was looking at the -- did they want to plane to land and see everything? >> i will tell you, that's a good question, daniel.
so the problem with the president going to a disaster area is you take up resources that first responders should be using on dealing with the disaster, so if a president comes through an area as everybody in this room knows, you set up security code, and motorcades and who is running the motorcades but the fist response, the police, fire are supposed to be dealing with disaster and they have to deal with the presidential visit. in flying over, it appeared that he was calas and johnson is in marine one flying over the riot-torn areas of washington, d.c. there's a picture taken of him at that moment that looks like
bush flying over katrina lesson. so the lesson to answer your question -- [laughter] >> the other lesson it makes sense for a president to go after disaster area and sometimes not to go to a disaster area but you should never, ever be photographed in a flyover. >> how do you prepare for the disaster that's unforeseeable, the unknown? i know you spoke about gaining as much as you can in advance but it's quite possible that the president -- [inaudible] >> yeah. it's absolutely true. the next president whoever they may be will face crisis. we don't know what the crisis is going to be but they will face crisis. in facing that crisis they can bring certain skills and attributes and preparation and i think preparation is really important. one thing i found in government is that we were much better at dealing with disasters after we
had table-pop exercises, one i think i always say that if the personal officials show up at a disaster area and start handing out the business cards, we've already failed. that means they don't know the areas of responsibility, they don't know what people are supposed to do and so it's not a good way to work these things. if you have a table exercise, this is a big if, if the senior officials participate in them because often they defer them to deputies but if they actually participate, then they are much better at dealing and i tell the story in the book of what happened in the 2009, i told you i prepared the -- worked on preparing the bush influenza flan. 2009 happened and the swine flu outbreak happens. already the plan for some other type of disaster. the all hazards approach. you take a disaster, you prepare for it but when it comes you have to be able to use the same
blilding -- building blocks. the flu what happened in 2009 not a single official of obama is confirmed. they are behind on the nominations and not senior officials there. what they did is they took the flu plan that we had prepared and adapted it and they did a good job with it mostly with career officials and they're hoping like rich who is head of cbs -- cdc, he did such a good job that it's chief medical correspondent. he had prepared, i know that because i was in the government. there's one federal official who actually did a terrible job in that and that was joe biden. he had legislative experience but not executive experience and
he went on tv and said what you weren't supposed to say through academic which is i don't think anyone should go any close spaces right now which is a disaster for transportation and airlines. he walked it back. he wasn't protecting joe. he just threw under the joe, joe can take it. but i thought about it that vice president biden had real government experience in the legislative side of things but not the executive side. the executive side is different and you need to prepare. >> how does that change disasters because with the flyover now the presidents can tweet this is what i'm seeing, this is what i expect that we will see out of, you know, obama, tweets about matthew in the next few days so you can feel that he is and from hillary
and from trump? >> so last i checked president obama's twitter feed had 60 million followers. i don't wake to make it to a specific numbers. it matters in part it's a great tool and matters what the president uses it for and if the tool is overly political a lot of people will check out. one of the things i talk about in the book is the need to have some kind of bipartisanship, neutrality when it comes to dealing disaster. a flu doesn't care if a democrat or republican is in the white house. it needs to be able to step above the fray in dealing with it. you have to make sure you use the twitter account wisely the entire time not just when there's a disaster. >> thank you, guys. >> i want to say one more thank you to julianna for a lovely event. >> everybody should buy a book. you should also buy a book for
completes three volume series on the life of eleanor roosevelt which includes the first lady's life through world war ii, the death of president roosevelt and eleanor roos -- roos velt -- roosevelt's own death in 1962. richard snow recalls the creation of the union army's iron battleship the monitor and ushered a new era of airfare. in black scare reports on life in the ukraine after russia's annex of crimea. and first black regiments to
fight in world war. watch for many of the authors on book tv, c-span2. >> promoted a particular type of social control. one that signals that the target racially and domestic policy and officials acting in enclosed circles or part of larger coalition made at the highest levels of government that had immeasurable consequences and some of the choices may have been a different times and in different political moments. ultimately, however, the
bipartisan consensus of policy makers fixated of police in urban state and removing generations of young women of color. in doing so we will continue to avoid confronting legacies of enslavement that still prevent the nation from fully realizing the promise of founding principals. until recently the devastating outcomes on the war of crime have gone relatively unnoticed. appears that it had gone and law enforcement over the last 50 years, a black middle class surfaced and african americans assumed position of pow e from the rise of black mayors in the 1970's to the presidency of
barack obama. these achievements promoted discourses of pathology and personal responsibility even further making it seem as though the systematic incarceration of entire group marginalized citizens reflected the order of things. some black americans have amassed substantial race. i'm sure is not news to many of you who are in this room today. african americans grew more affluent, by the end of 20th century the net financial asset of highest fifth of black american households were $7,448. only $448 above that of the lowest of white american households and the black middle class has always been concentrated in public spear and social services.
the fact that many critical reforms of period having negated remains unrecognized nine years after the passage of voting rights act the don of mass incarceration the supreme court ruled it deny convicted felon to t right to vote. as a result of racial disparities and estimated 1 out of 13 african americans will not vote in the 2016 election due to a prior conviction. because of the felon disenfranchisement and policies behind it, a key civil rights
gain of the 1960's has come undone. go on and on. to make the situation worse, the u.s. census counts people who are incarcerated as residents of the country where they are serving time. and census count in return determine presentation. rule areas -- rural areas are homes to prisons. urban americans lost representation because of how disenfranchisement wow and rule districts that tend to favor republicans gained representation because of how the prison system works. meanwhile as mobility remains stagnant public schools and urban neighborhoods are segregated today than civil rights movement. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. in notes from noman's land
national book critic award winner examines race in america. life in fort hood, texas through the experiences of several families stationed there during the iraq war in you know when the men are gone. psychiatrist and professor ellen resounds her life with schizophrenia in the center cannot hold. in dreaming in french, yale university professor alice exams influence and angela davis had onen city is consumed in which political theorist benjamin barber argue that is capitalism has gone away in overproducing economy.